Revictimizing the Domestic Violence Victim
Often times, in cases of domestic violence, victims come to the justice and court system seeking help or guidance to extricate themselves from difficult situations. Unfortunately, far too often, the very system set up to help victims serves to revictimize them in dangerous ways.
Take, for example, the situation of the unnamed victim depicted in Jerry Iannelli’s Miami New Times story. A Miami Police Officer seriously and grossly mishandled a potentially dangerous situation of domestic violence by discounted both the history and facts of her encounter with the domestic violence victim. Often times, situations of domestic violence are not given the respect they deserve by those in law enforcement or the criminal justice system. Many times, those on the front-lines fighting domestic violence become numb to the signs of danger right in front of their faces.
Such tendencies must be fought by those first responders dealing with domestic violence every day. Training of police officers and prosecutors, often done by attorneys right here at Benjamin & Melmer, LLC, is critical to safeguarding victims of domestic violence and our community. Overlooking crimes of domestic violence can often have tragic consequences. Many recent mass shootings, from Sandy Hook, to the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings, to the recent Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church mass shooting, had perpetrators who committed acts of domestic violence that were overlooked by authorities.
We here at Benjamin & Melmer, LLC, given our training and background as prosecutors and attorneys representing victims of domestic violence, understand that education of first responders, police officers and others involved in our justice system, is a critical component toward changing misguided attitudes like those of the Officer depicted in this article.